Cosma / Communication / Data

You can use all the quantitative data you can get, but you still have to distrust it and use your own intelligence and judgment. — Alvin Toffler





data : factual information (such as measurements or statistics) used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation — Webster   See also OneLook


Roget’s II (, Merriam-Webster Thesaurus, Visuwords


Data are units of information, often numeric, that are collected through observation. In a more technical sense, data are a set of values of qualitative or quantitative variables about one or more persons or objects, while a datum (singular of data) is a single value of a single variable. Although the terms “data” and “information” are often used interchangeably, these terms have distinct meanings. Data are sometimes said to be transformed into information when they are viewed in context or in post-analysis. — Wikipedia

Data (Encyclopædia Britannica)


I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four, A Scandal in Bohemia




Big Data deals with ways to analyze, systematically extract information from, or otherwise deal with data sets that are too large or complex to be dealt with by traditional data-processing application software. Data with many fields (columns) offer greater statistical power, while data with higher complexity (more attributes or columns) may lead to a higher false discovery rate. Big data analysis challenges include capturing data, data storage, data analysis, search, sharing, transfer, visualization, querying, updating, information privacy, and data source. — Wikipedia

What is Big Data (SAS)
Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity (James Manyika, Michael Chui, Brad Brown, Jacques Bughin, Richard Dobbs, Charles Roxburgh, Angela Hung Byers, McKinsey & Company)


Data science uses scientific methods, processes, algorithms and systems to extract knowledge and insights from structured and unstructured data,and apply knowledge and actionable insights from data across a broad range of application domains. Data science is related to data mining, machine learning and big data. It uses techniques and theories drawn from many fields within the context of mathematics, statistics, computer science, information science, and domain knowledge. — Wikipedia

What is Data Science? (UC Berkeley School of Information)
Data Science (Future Learn)
Data Science (Coursera)




Quotations Page


WorldCat, Library of Congress, UPenn Online Books, Open Library




MERLOT: Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching
OER Commons: Open Educational Resources


3 Data Careers Decoded and What It Means for You (Cheng Han Lee, Udacity)


Journals, Magazines in Data Analytics, Big Data, Data Mining etc. (KDnuggets)







The mind revels in conjecture. Where information is lacking, it will gladly fill in the gaps. — James Geary, The World in a Phrase: A Brief History of the Aphorism

The beauty of data visualization Lesson (David McCandless, Ted-Ed)


Art Made of Data Playlist (TED Talks)


The DIKW pyramid, also known variously as the DIKW hierarchy, wisdom hierarchy, knowledge hierarchy, information hierarchy, information pyramid, and the data pyramid, refers loosely to a class of models for representing purported structural and/or functional relationships between the communication content types of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom. — Wikipedia

Most writers about the hierarchy refer to this passage from T. S. Eliot’s The Rock.

Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? — T. S. Eliot, The Rock

Russell Ackoff popularized the hierarchy to categorize the content of communication.
From data to wisdom (Russell L. Ackoff, Journal of Applies Systems Analysis)
On passing through 80 (Russell L. Ackoff, Systemic practice and action research)



These are links to pages about closely related subjects.

DIKW Content Hierarchy

Communication, Content, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom

See also Database



1.   The resources on this page are are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma.